The Community Design Workshop (CDW) is an Institute within the School of Architecture and Design at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The CDW has been involved with community urban design projects in architecture and planning for over twenty years. During this time, the CDW has been involved with small town projects that promoted the revival of their downtown areas and neighborhoods along with large infrastructure designs for interstate highways and major arterials for Municipalities and the State of Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. The CDW was engaged in restoration projects for small towns following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastation in 2005. Additionally, the CDW has completed multiple projects for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where the CDW team proposed the design, developed the construction documents and was involved with supervising the building construction. The purpose of the CDW is to function as an outreach Institute to the community for urban design and provide graduate architecture students an opportunity to gain practical experience with real world design problems. The paper will focus on the process of engaging the university’s administration and students in charrettes and public meetings. Working as a team, the CDW produces the design, develops the construction documents and consults with local architects and engineers. The paper discussion will highlight three of the CDW’s projects: The University Bike Path – which links the University Research Park to the main campus completed in 2014; the redesign of the main campus Quadrangle completed in 2017; and the University International/Cultural Space, currently in progress. These three projects demonstrate how the public can be engaged in a design process, how student learning benefits both the student the public, the development of the design, and shows the construction process to completion.
Thomas Sammons is a full professor with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, School of Architecture and Design. He has served as the School’s Director for the Community Design Workshop for twenty-five years. The CDW is an outreach community-based studio that integrates expertise from both faculty and students to facilitate urban design projects throughout the state of Louisiana. To date, the CDW has completed over 100 projects resulting in over $4 million in research dollars. Prof. Sammons teaches Urban Design courses in the graduate and undergraduate school and teaches studios that focus on architecture and urbanism in the School of Architecture and Design. He has thirty-six years of teaching experience with the University of Florida, Clemson University and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He obtained his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Kentucky and his Master of Architecture from Cornell University. His administrative experience includes Director for the School of Architecture and Design, Graduate Coordinator and Chair of the Campus Planning Committee for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.